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News Article

Global Commitment to Limit Upstream Emissions

By Peter Appleby | Mon, 07/20/2020 - 16:22

The global oil and gas industry has taken another major step forward in its race to curb carbon emissions after the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – a group of major oil companies supporting the Paris Agreement – announced its collaborative effort to to lower the carbon intensity of upstream operations by 2025.

The OGCI announcement was made at the end of last week and formalized a process that several major oil companies have been taking to reduce emissions themselves. In a statement, the group said it had “announced a target to reduce the collective average carbon intensity of member companies’ aggregated upstream oil and gas operations to between 20kg and 21kg CO2e/boe by 2025from a collective baseline of 23kg CO2e/boe in 2017.”

Group’s members, including BP, Shell, Repsol, Eni and Total, among others, have an active presence in the Mexican market and have recently individually taken steps to reduce their environmental impact.

At the beginning of this year, BP said it would “become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner,” while Shell and Total followed with the same goal in April and May respectively.

As one of the globe’s most important industries and a major source of pollution, the need for the oil industry to act is abundantly clear. The OGCI says that its stated carbon reduction range “is consistent with the reduction needed across the oil and gas industry by 2025 to support the Paris Agreement goals.” The reduction “covers both carbon dioxide and methane emissions from OGCI member companies’ operated upstream oil and gas exploration and production activities, as well as emissions from associated imports of electricity and steam,” said the statement.

Accompanying this aim will be measures for improving energy efficiency and bolstering strategies against carbon-emitting events like flaring. The companies will also implement the electrification and use renewable energy where possible.

Mexico ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016, joining the efforts of nations aiming to limit the rapidly rising global temperature by 1.5°C. However, with the López Obrador administration setting its sights on returning PEMEX to its former splendor and limiting the participation of private companies in both the oil and gas and renewable energy sections, Mexico appears far from reaching its pledge. Recent actions like CFE’s purchase of two million tons of coal for MX$2.068 million (US$80.31 million), will push the country further from global commitments.

Photo by:   JuergenPM, Pixabay
Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst